I Was Mentioned on Woodtalk


I Was Mentioned on Woodtalk

I always listen to this podcast about woodworking, Woodtalk. I have listened to it for over a year now, and it is really entertaining and informative. It is hosted by 3 guys that impart different kinds of knowledge on the listeners, and it is not dull. They're always ribbing each other, and talking about the different stuff they're working on. 

Yesterday, I downloaded the most recent show that came out, but didn't get a chance to listen to it until today. And guess what? They mentioned my one of the videos on my YouTube channel! That's so exciting!

Matt Cremona, whom I have followed for a couple of years now, talked about the video I just released about How to Make a Simple Kids Workbench. He noted that it was nice to see how a little boy was taking interest in the woodshop and I was actually showing him how to use the machines and everything. Thanks for mentioning my video, Matt, and keep up the good work!

The other two hosts are Marc Spagnuolo, aka The Wood Whisperer, and Shannon Rogers from renaissancewoodworker.com

If you don't already listen to it, give it a try. It is a fun podcast and helps pass the day just a little bit faster. 


How to Make A Simple Kid's Workbench


How to Make A Simple Kid's Workbench


My oldest son, Alan, had been asking for some woodworking chisels so he could do some carving, chopping, etc. I got him some a while back, but he has had to use them while sitting on the ground. 

Take a look at the video I made of us building a workbench together. He did a great job helping me, and I'm pleased with the result:


Alan has been slowly taking more and more interest in making things with me in the shop. He has become increasingly interested in what I'm doing out in the shop, and often asks to come see or if he can help. I have kind of waited for him to approach it like this, because I didn't want to force something on him. 

I had a few considerations for this project:

1. Use some scrap if possible

2. Make it as sturdy as possible

3. Size it just for Alan

4. Don't spent a lot on it


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Nail Gun - http://amzn.to/2s8YbYa
Air Compressor - http://amzn.to/2s8YbYa
Wood Glue - http://amzn.to/2s93w1K
Miter saw - http://amzn.to/2ruEfLs
Forstner bits - http://amzn.to/2sFZBIU
Plug cutters - http://amzn.to/2sgUP4j
Flush trim saw - http://amzn.to/2sFTqVh
Cordless drill/driver - http://amzn.to/2runtMh



The fist steps of many projects is measuring. I didn't have a particular place in the shop that I wanted this workbench to live, so that was not an issue. However, I did want to make sure that the height of the workbench was a good working height for him. 

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I made the two sides the height they needed to be and then measured a scrap piece of plywood we were going to use for the top to determine how wide it would actually be. 


I used 2x4's for the base, and really only had to use two of them. I ripped a slight amount off of each 2x4 to remove the rounded edges. This instantly makes any 2x4 project look much better. 

Then, I used a simple construction method for these sides to have cross bracing, much like the miter saw cart I built a while back. A little way into this step, Alan kept talking about a walnut top. I was not going to do that for a workbench, but I did tell him we could put some walnut plugs in to cover the screws. 

I was already using a countersink bit for some of the drilling, and it turns out, it was a different size than any of my plug cutting bits. So, before we went any farther, I used a 3/8" forstner bit at the drill press to drill some larger counter sunk holes that we could plug later. 


At this point, we needed to find the scrap of plywood we were going to use for the top, and measure the width of it so that we could determine how long to make the other sides. Since we were using scrap on hand for the top, the piece we used dictated how wide the overall bench would be. 


There were a total of 26 holes that needed the walnut plugs, so I believe we did 29, just to make sure we had enough. I found a scrap of walnut in the scrap bin, and then Alan and I drilled them out with a plug cutter on the drill press.

He told me that using the drill press was his favorite. He liked to watch it, pull the handle and how fast it stopped after we turned it off. He was hilarious too...every time we would drill a hole, he would blow it off. All 29 times! ha

After we drilled out all of the dowel plugs, we had to take it to the drum sander. The plugs were drilled a little too long, and since they're tapered, if you don't get they to grab, they will be loose. Then, we just cut the plugs out with the bandsaw. 

We glued in all of the plugs and left them to dry overnight. 


The next day, we trimmed all of the walnut plugs flush with a flush trim saw, and sanded them with a random orbit sander after that. The scrap plywood I used for the top was so cheap, we wanted right through the razor-thin veneer on the top. And we had not sanded that much. That was disappointing, but Alan was in good spirits, and it didn't seem to phase his fondness toward this workbench. 


To finish it, we added one coat of a water-based polyurethane to the entire workbench. We didn't want to spend a ton of time on the finish, but wanted it to have a little bit of protection. That dried fast, and it was completely finished. 


Overall, this was a fun project, especially since Alan and I were able to spend some time in the shop. As I was editing the video, he saw the part where I talked about him loving the drill press, and I asked him again if that was his favorite part. He said, "Yes, and being with you." Well, that made it all worth it right there. 


Let me know if you have any questions or comments down below. Thanks for following along!


How to Make a Rustic Pallet Wood Sign


How to Make a Rustic Pallet Wood Sign

I made a rustic sign out of pallet wood for my son's room. It turned out great. Watch the video below to see how I did it or keep reading for all of the details. 


Before our third child, Alexander, was born, we wanted to really make his room unique for him. We didn't want to spend a lot, so we considered more of a rustic look, and I decided I would build much of what we wanted in his room. One of these items included a rustic pallet wood sign with a modern flair to it. 

I had made a similar sign to go over our laundry room previously, and had bought a vinyl stencil from an etsy shop to make that one. This time, I wanted to try my hand at creating my own stencil. 


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Circular Saw - http://amzn.to/2sZeAdY

Nail Gun - http://amzn.to/2s8YbYa

Air Compressor - http://amzn.to/2s8YbYa

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Jigsaw - http://amzn.to/2s8YsdE

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Spray Lacquer - http://amzn.to/2sZ6lig

X-Acto Knife - http://amzn.to/2r6J9Sp

Spray Paint (buy locally)



Break Down Pallets 

There are many ways to break down pallets into usable materials. I'm not going to go into that here, but just search out "how to break down a pallet" and you'll find plenty. For these particular pallet boards, they still have the nail holes intact. 

I have learned from past projects using pallet wood that one of the biggest frustrations is that nothing is the same size. Therefore, I used my jointing jig to create one straight side on the board. Then, I flipped it around and ripped the other side off. I did this to all of the boards, and made them all the same width. This would help me later when I needed to develop the pattern. 

Paint & Stain

I wanted three distinct colors for this sign, so I decided on black, gray and natural. For the black, I used some cheap spray paint. (HINT: don't pay $4 for a nice can or spray paint for something like this. Just buy the cheap stuff for about $.99...it will work just fine)

For the gray, I used a driftwood stain, because I wanted to see the wood grain show through a bit. This turned out nice, and I have since used this stain quite a few times. 


Prepare whatever you're going to use to nail the pallet wood onto. I'm using a scrap piece of 3/4" plywood I had lying around. I am using a method that I saw Bob Clagett from I Like To Make Stuff do. He cut out some of the plywood, cut a French cleat into it and attached it to the board again. It will act like an integrated French cleat. 


Arrange all of the pallet wood how you want it. Then, use a little bit of glue and nail it to the backboard. I used some finish nails for this. 


I let the pieces of pallet wood overhang the edge. This allowed me to clamp a straight edge on the sign after they were all connected and trim it flush with a circular saw. Then, once I got one side flush, I took it over to my table saw and trimmed the other side flush. 


Next, I turned my attention to the stencil to put the name on the sign. As I mentioned in the video, I had previously purchased a stencil for a Laundry sign I made to go over our laundry room door. I wanted to see if I could make one this time, rather than buying it. 

I started out by laying out some freezer paper, and then putting some painter's tape down on it with the sticky side toward the freezer paper. I was going to use the freezer paper like transfer paper on some stencils. Then, I printed out the name I wanted, attached it to the tape I had laid out, and cut it out. Be sure to keep the little inside pieces of "A" or "B" or "D" because you will need to stick them to the board later in order for your letters to look right. 

Then, peeled off the freezer paper and attached it to the sign where I wanted the name. I actually attached one end of the name to the board first and peeled as I stuck more down, just to make sure it didn't get too unruly. 


Now, it is time to paint. I masked off everything except the stencil and used some cheap, white spray paint to spray on the name. Then, I removed the stencil. 

I wanted to put a little modern flare on the sign, so I decided that a thin box around it would look nice. I created this box by simply laying out some more painter's tape in a shape that looked nice. Then, I masked off the main name and everything else, sprayed the thin box with the same white spray paint and removed the tape. 


I installed the French cleat onto the wall using some sheetrock anchors I had never seen previously. They were rated for plenty of weight. The only thing I had to watch out for was to NOT hit a stud. This type of anchor will not go into a stud. So, I had to mark were the studs were and make sure to work around them. They just hammer into place and allow you to screw into them. 

Finally, I just hung the sign on the wall! It looks great in his room. I love the way it turned out and my wife loves it too! 

Screen Shot 2017-06-10 at 3.34.12 PM.jpg

Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below. Will you build a sign for yourself?